Skip to main content

tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 2, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

5:30 pm
distraction coming at a critical time in the gun control debate. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house tonight with the photo and the story behind it. kristen? >> reporter: lester, good evening. the gun debate took a detour this week when president obama said he likes to shoot skeet at camp david. gun rights advocates called for proof and today the white house provided it. it's not a picture you see every day, and it's several months old, but white house press secretary jay carney felt the need to release this photo on twitter today. >> finally? they finally dug up some evidence? >> reporter: it's an image of president obama shooting skeet at camp david on his birthday back in august. all this after an interview published sunday in which the new republic asked the president, have you ever fired a gun? mr. obama responded, yes, in fact, up at camp david, we do skeet shooting all the time. and i have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. comedians pounced.
5:31 pm
>> you can barely hear yourself think over all the shooting of skeet. >> reporter: and some gun rights advocates accused the president of deception while campaigning for stiffer gun control laws. republican congresswoman marsha blackburn took a tongue in cheek approach. >> i think he should invite me to camp david and i'll go skeet shooting with him and i bet i'll beat him. >> reporter: the questions persisted through the week as the administration declined to provide details about the frequency of mr. obama's skeet shooting. >> i would refer you simply to his comments. i don't know how often. he does go to camp david with some regularity but i'm not sure how often he's done that. >> reporter: today the white house aimed to put the matter to rest but within minutes the twitterverse lit up. larry sabato, how many innocent skeet were sacrificed for one lousy pr photo? the president's former top adviser, david plouffe, attention skeet birthers,
5:32 pm
make our day. let the conspiracies begin. the nra weighed in. one picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun control scheme imaginable. >> it's really absurd that at this point the debate over serious gun control legislation is boiling down to whether or not the president has ever fired a weapon before. >> reporter: now, white house officials dispute the nra's characterization of president obama's policies, saying he strongly supports second amendment rights. as for that challenge by congressman blackburn one white house official tells me president obama would probably lose that competition, noting skeet shooting is not something he's done his entire life. lester? >> all right. kristen, thank you. in alabama tonight a man with a gun continues to hold a little boy hostage in an underground bunker after allegedly shooting to death the driver of the school bus the boy was on four days ago. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in midland city, alabama, with that story. gabe, good evening. >> reporter: lester, so far this standoff has lasted more than 97 hours and there's no end in sight.
5:33 pm
just up the road behind me police say the suspect has a heater, blankets, and plenty of supplies in that bunker. the delicate and tense standoff has police here in southeastern alabama on edge. s.w.a.t. teams and hostage negotiators focused on an underground bunker, where police say jimmy lee dykes has held a 5-year-old boy for more than four days. >> i want to thank him for taking care of our child. >> reporter: police are choosing words carefully as they talk with him through a ventilation pipe attached to the bunker. they would not say whether he's making any demands. dykes is a vietnam era veteran described by neighbors as a survivalist who doesn't trust the government. >> what the negotiators are trying to do is to build this psychological umbilical cord between themselves and mr. dykes to the point where he finally feels, okay. i am safe to come out. >> reporter: the standoff began tuesday afternoon when dykes allegedly boarded a stopped
5:34 pm
school bus and demanded two random children. when the bus driver refused, police say, dykes shot and killed him and made off with a boy named ethan who has a mild form of autism. >> he considered them his children. i know that's the reason why my dad took those shots is for his children just like he would do for me and my sister. >> reporter: every night there are prayer vigils here. a community desperate for a peaceful resolution, relieved that so far the boy is alive. a good sign, police say, is that the suspect has allowed negotiators to drop medicine and coloring books for the boy down the pipe into the bunker. lester? >> gabe gutierrez tonight, thank you. in turkey, an american woman who was last heard from 12 days ago was found dead today. 33-year-old new yorker sarai sierra was on a solo vacation pursuing her photography hobby
5:35 pm
when she disappeared in istanbul on the day she was to fly home. turkey's news agency says nine people have been detained for questioning in connection with the case. a turkish media report said she had been stabbed to death. she was the mother of two young children. tonight the state department says out of respect for the family there will be no comment at this time. also in turkey tonight new details are emerging about the suicide bomber who attacked the u.s. embassy in ankara killing a turkish security guard and himself. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in ankara with that and developing news out of egypt tonight as well. richard, good evening. >> reporter: we are learning from turkish officials the bomber was a well known militant from a far left group and he served more than four years in a turkish prison, was involved in a hunger strike, and was eventually released from jail for medical reasons. he left the country and then returned from greece on a fake passport, but turkish officials don't know how long he's been in the country. they think he's been in ankara
5:36 pm
for the last ten days. this isn't the only situation u.s. officials are concerned about in the region. there is also egypt. u.s. officials are worried that ongoing clashes in egypt, including ones in front of the presidential palace, could be a signal that the egyptian government, led by president morsi of the muslim brotherhood is losing control of the streets of egypt, which would be a major problem for not only egypt but also the united states especially if the egyptian government were to collapse. >> richard engel in ankara tonight, thank you. we turn to africa where the president of france received cheers in mali today six days after his troops liberated the historic city of timbuktu from militants linked to al qaeda. nbc is on the ground there with this report. >> reporter: three weeks after launching an assault against al qaeda aligned militants in the north of mali the president of
5:37 pm
france was here on what amounted to a victory tour. he never declared mission accomplished, but he was certainly cheered and even hugged as he walked through the streets of the ancient city of timbuktu. until a few days ago, he wouldn't have been able to. it was controlled by militant jihadists who have now fled after french paratroopers landed on the edges of this iconic community. president hollande thanked his troops, the french, and the malians as well as ordinary people but he added that in the future the job of protecting iconic communities like this one won't be that of france but of malian and west african troops. they're now moving into the city in order to secure this ancient community. nbc news, timbuktu. back in this country, democratic senator bob menendez of new jersey has come under scrutiny for his relationship with a wealthy florida doctor who was a big donor to the senator and other democratic
5:38 pm
causes. nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff has more tonight. >> reporter: just as senator bob menendez takes over the powerful senate foreign relations committee -- >> will come to order. >> reporter: -- the spotlight has turned to this, fbi agents in florida hauling away boxes from the offices of one of his top political fund-raisers, salomon melgin. law enforcement sources tell nbc news that melgen, a wealthy eye doctor who with his family has donated more than $38,000 to menendez, is now the subject of a federal investigation into possible health care fraud and public corruption. election records show that in addition to the $38,000 contributions, melgen's eye clinic starting last june pumped $700,000 into a democratic super pac that spent heavily to support the re-election of menendez. in august, menendez pressed federal officials to back a port security contract in the dominican republic that could earn millions for one of
5:39 pm
melgen's companies. >> it sure looks like the senator is using his office to financially benefit the company that is owned by his biggest contributor. >> reporter: menendez' office says the senator's interest was only in clamping down on drug trafficking. the senator also took flights aboard melgen's private jet to a resort in the dominican republic and never reported them on his financial disclosure form, triggering this ethics complaint from new jersey republicans. menendez' office this week acknowledged the senator wrote a $58,500 personal check to melgen in january to reimburse him for the flights two months after the complaint was filed. >> it's either a very significant oversight or a willful failure to disclose, and that's what the senate ethics committee will be looking at. >> reporter: in the statement the senator's office also refuted other allegations made on a conservative website that menendez met with prostitutes in the dominican republic.
5:40 pm
those allegations, his office says, are manufactured, politically motivated, and false. menendez brushed aside the questions. >> comments should go to my office. these are nameless, faceless, anonymous allegations. >> reporter: a well placed source tells nbc news senate democratic leaders have privately huddled about the potential fallout but so far they're publicly sticking by menendez, and melgen's lawyer said in an e-mail we are confident that dr. melgen has acted appropriately at all times. michael isikoff, nbc news, washington. the san francisco 49ers have been there before and so, too, have the baltimore ravens. football's biggest game. but at this year's contest the real seasoned veteran will be the city of new orleans hosting its tenth super bowl since 1970. and though the big easy has been through a lot since its last turn hosting the game, it apparently hasn't lost its knack for throwing one heck of a party.
5:41 pm
nbc's janet shamlian is in new orleans tonight. >> reporter: it has gone smoothly so far. the weather has cooperated but tomorrow is the test. this is an unprecedented security challenge for new orleans. so many people, 150,000, coming to town for this game to a city that's known for its wild celebrations. 24 hours until kickoff and new orleans is packed. not just with football fans. >> 49ers! >> woo hoo! >> reporter: but with police stationed on almost every corner at every intersection. some 1,500 law enforcement officers as the city hosts its first super bowl since hurricane katrina more than seven years ago. >> i am so proud because i'm from here and i just love my city. >> reporter: this family joined the crowds on a picture perfect day. inside photo opportunities. >> all right. drew brees, show me how it's done. >> reporter: a chance to throw like a pro. megan kent and her family traveled from baltimore.
5:42 pm
their trip to the big easy, the hard way. >> there's about ten of us. we drove 15 hours to get here. it's just so much fun. we're all having a great time with my family. >> reporter: it's what organizers want for everyone. from the 73,000 fans who paid an average of $3,400 per ticket to those watching from a big screen. while almost everyone has a favorite, football great and new orleans resident archie manning understands why one set of parents aren't taking sides. >> i kind of feel for the harbaughs there. they are going to have a son that's going to be on the losing side of it, too, and that's hard. >> reporter: the battle of the brothers. here at the super dome it is already fairly locked down. streets closed. barricades up. metal detectors at the ready in advance of the gates opening here about midday tomorrow. lester? >> all right. janet, thanks very much. when "nightly news" continues on this saturday, computer hackers strike again. what the government is doing to recruit thousands of cyber cops. and later no defense against this on the eve of the super
5:43 pm
bowl looking at another american sports tradition.
5:44 pm
5:45 pm
the social media giant twitter says it has become the latest victim in a string of sophisticated hacking attacks aimed at exposing users' private information. experts believe the attack, which follows others launched against three of this country's largest newspapers, is the latest illustration of a dire need for more experts with the training to prevent them. nbc's justice correspondent pete
5:46 pm
williams has more tonight. >> reporter: at the offices of cyber watch dog mandiant security computer consultant for "the washington post" and "new york times" a constant vigil keeps watch for signs of attacks on them and other clients. the company also devises ways to stay a step ahead to block attempted intrusions from succeeding. >> there is always going to be some kind of gap attackers can exploit and very often we see companies haven't invested in responding to the fact that they will sustain a breach and many times they're caught flat footed when it occurs. >> reporter: with cyber attacks on the rise against banks, news organizations, social media, and the systems that keep the country going, there's a growing worry that the u.s. faces a serious shortage of people who know how to respond. >> it takes a thousand hours of hands on work just like a pilot. you can't be a good pilot unless you've actually flown an airplane under pressure. you can't be a good cyber person unless you've actually fought in cyber space either in a simulator or in the real world.
5:47 pm
>> reporter: the need is exploding. the pentagon's u.s. cyber command is drawing up plans to bring 4,000 new computer security experts onboard. homeland security secretary janet napolitano warns that the lack of experts nationwide is critical. >> it should be encrypted here and is not. >> reporter: the university of southern california is among a handful of the nation's colleges answering the call, preparing to offer a degree in cyber security. >> for whatever type of system that i'm going to develop for somebody i want to make sure that it's secure. >> in the past if your computer got attacked, maybe you were worried about slow start up speeds. now they can actually affect your livelihood. >> reporter: educators say it's essential to start building the cyber work force earlier in schools and colleges, preparing for one part of the economy everyone agrees is expanding as the cyber threat spreads. pete williams, nbc news, washington. the man who has been on the forefront of fighting cyber attacks among other threats at the pentagon is weighing in on
5:48 pm
the grilling his likely successor got on capitol hill this week. outgoing secretary leon panetta is critical of this week's confirmation hearings for former senator chuck hagel. he said the hearings should have been less political and partisan and more about the tough issues hagel would face. >> what about what a secretary of defense is confronting today, what about the war in afghanistan, the war on terrorism, what about the budget sequester and the impact it's going to have on readiness? what about the middle east turmoil? what about cyber attacks? all of the issues that confront a secretary of defense, frankly, those were -- we just did not see enough time spent on discussing those issues. >> you can see chuck todd's full interview with defense secretary leon panetta and with the joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey tomorrow on "meet the press." up next the 15-year-old who was nominated for the nobel peace prize.
5:49 pm
5:50 pm
5:51 pm
a passing to note tonight, andre cassagnes inventor of the beloved etch a sketch has died in france. he came up with the idea in the 1950s and since then more than a hundred million have been sold. he was 86 years old. some good news tonight on what started as a tragic story. malala yousufzai, the 15-year-old pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the taliban for promoting girls' education, has been formally nominated for the nobel peace prize. malala would be the youngest person ever to win the prestigious award. the winner will be announced in october. after all that cold weather much of the country has been dealing with, finally some good news tonight. listen. >> an early spring for you and me! >> it's groundhog day and if you trust the prediction of a large
5:52 pm
rodent from western pennsylvania, spring will come early this year. punxsutawney phil failed to see his shadow this morning and according to legend that means warm weather is just around the corner. i'm going to take that at face value. up next, behind a super bowl tradition that makes a big splash.
5:53 pm
5:54 pm
we're back tonight on the eve of one of the biggest nights in american sports. while there's disagreement on who will win tomorrow night's
5:55 pm
contest between the 49ers and the ravens, one thing is fairly certain. someone on the sidelines will be making a big splash. jenna wolfe is in new orleans with more. >> reporter: it is both an american sports tradition and a symbolic crowning achievement on the football field. >> it has become almost as much as the game is a coin toss and the national anthem. >> reporter: a sunday fixture. if you win, you will get wet. >> that icy sensation and when you don't know it's coming it just really stuns you for a minute. >> reporter: the gatorade shower dates back to 1984 when the chicago bears clinched the division and defensive lineman dan hampton eyed a gatorade bucket. >> so i just grabbed it. when i dumped it on ditka i was trying to stick it over his head and you could see him fighting it off. he had no idea. >> reporter: but it was the new york giants, two years later, who put the shower on the map. >> it really became a symbol of the '86 season. >> reporter: harry carson says once they started they couldn't stop because their coach, bill
5:56 pm
parcels, was superstitious. so carson got creative. >> carson has changed shirts and is in the security uniform now. >> what i wanted to do was get the gatorade on his head not necessarily on his neck or on his back. i wanted to see it really splash down, you know, from the heavens, from the top of his head and cover his whole upper torso. >> reporter: but not all nfl coaches have warmed up to the soaking. coaching legend don shuler forbid it, telling his players i picked out this outfit and i don't want it ruined. >> i prefer to be carried off the field. >> reporter: you are probably the only coach. you watch any football game on any given sunday and there will be a coach that will most likely get doused at some point. >> you're right. and those players take great pride in doing that. when they sneak up behind the coach. >> reporter: almost three decades later, the gatorade bath is still a post victory tradition, just with a little more strategy. >> they've got it figured out
5:57 pm
almost to a science now. >> reporter: regardless of how cold the dunk may feel it only happens when you win and that right there is the greatest feeling in the entire -- ah! never mind. i take it back. jenna wolfe, nbc news, new orleans. >> i have a funny feeling that piece of video will be around for a while, jenna. cam newton did the honors. that is "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
5:58 pm
>> it might be hard for some 9er fans to sleep tonight. good evening. >> it is super bowl sunday eve. the count down is on. >> with the 49er's last practice before the big game. he caught up with 9er's legends today. what's going on? >> we are at the nfl honors award show. the second annual awards show.
5:59 pm
on that red carpet we did talk with some guys who know what's to come not just in the game tomorrow but what the super bowl's all about. take a look. >> when you think of the team, how fun is it to be a part of this and have your family here. >> it's such a well balanced football game. the team that goes out and makes like, i would say the fewest mistake mistakes. a no holds bar. >> if you grew up a niners fan you're probably watching with great interest. >> you have great defense 2 well coached football teams. i think whatever team can with stand the first


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on